Dan Mottaz  

Broken Light #5001 by Dan Mottaz

June 2020 - Broken Light #5001

About the Image(s)

Especially when light breaks through, morning fog provides such magic. This scene was captured last August in Mt. Rainier NP at Reflection Lake. Although this location is one of the most iconic places to shoot in Rainier, I managed to make a series of unique looking shots. Because I had never been there before, I did not have the benefit of previsualization. I wandered to the west side of the lake away from the crowds and looked for some compelling imagery. Foreground elements are often important to my image making so I sought out scenes like this. Aside from the photo itself, this was one of the most peaceful and wonderful experiences I have ever had photographing. I was not stressed or pressured. I just enjoyed being in 'The Zone'. To me, this is what photography is really about. Captured with a Canon 5D MK III, f/22, 1/5 sec., 28mm. Steadied on a Really Right Stuff tripod.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
15 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
This image deserves recognition. when I first saw this image as a thumbnail it was captivating----even in a small size. Why? Simply because it was taken by a photographer---not a want-to-be-snapshot-camera-pointer. As you noted the crowds went for the commercial postcard type image but you went in search of a topic. You mention your style of a seeking a foreground and you found nothing and made it into something. You found and understood the quality of light. You created a strong composition, utilizing the upper and lower right side fixation points. The beauty of your composition lies in the clarity of the lower reeds and how it fades to soft light of the rising sun forcing the eye to travel through the image. There are a host of wonderful leading lines running from the left to the right to guide the viewer. The artists of the Renaissance understood the power of the triangle and this images uses these elements in a masterful manner. The two triangles created by the reeds. the triangle created by the left side trees and their reflection. The triangle formed by the bright light on the right that points to the rising sun. All of this is genius.

For me the subtle reflection of the rising sun found in the midst of the reeds makes the image. Little touches matter--this one does. Whether you actually thought of all these elements or they were a product of your subconscious mind you, the guy with the camera, put all this together. This is masterful.

I have been a judge for quite a number of photo contests. This image would get my vote.

I hope someone in the PSA sees this, it should be in their monthly journal.   Posted: 06/01/2020 08:24:13
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Larry, you are very kind with your words. Thank you!   Posted: 06/01/2020 09:18:19

Sherry Icardi   Sherry Icardi
(Groups 73 & 94)
HI, Sherry Icardi from Group 94 and 73, just wanted to commend you on a beautiful image! Striking and I can't take my eyes off it! Congrats!   Posted: 06/02/2020 12:31:30
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you for visiting our group, Sherry. I very much appreciate your comments. Many thanks.   Posted: 06/11/2020 09:02:20

Jerry Paskowitz   Jerry Paskowitz
Dan, I have not seen too many images that I would rate as "completely blows me away". I could comment on the individual elements of your work but I think to do so would detract from the overall impression which to my eye is phenomenal! You have produced an award winning image! Well done!!!   Posted: 06/02/2020 16:25:48
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Very kind words, Jerry. Thank you.   Posted: 06/11/2020 09:02:49

Jean Wu   Jean Wu
Another one you should submit for competition. What a wonderful image!!   Posted: 06/04/2020 15:17:54
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thanks for the compliment, Jean.   Posted: 06/11/2020 09:03:57

Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Very nice image Dan. I really like how you have a very sharp focus on the grasses in the foreground and the reflected tree tops on the lake and how that contrasts with the apparent softness of the trees produced by the fog. This would definitely make a superb print.   Posted: 06/09/2020 23:50:18
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you, Michael. This was a magical morning. Everything came together.   Posted: 06/11/2020 09:05:05

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
I have studied this image at least 20 times before deciding why it is captivating...and it is captivating. In this, I see 4 elements. First, I see the reeds surrounded by noticeably still water. Water is rarely that calm...so its noticed. I find this clever. You have used the slower shutter speed technique in earlier entries, very effectively. And the reeds are in perfect focus. Then, my eye moves to the refections. These reflections are more important than the trees, themselves. In this case, the reflections Make the trees. Then I move to the mist. The mist adds mystery..."what's back there"? As for me, I'm glad you didn't bring out greater shoreline detail. The mist is enough! Lastly, you have the Sun, wrapped in 3 colors of fog and then tucked quietly between the reeds. You have come full circle. These are the images we learn from...well done   Posted: 06/12/2020 13:48:56
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you, Paul for your positive analysis.
  Posted: 06/14/2020 12:13:55

Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke
Dan, there is a lot to admire in this photo and I'm not sure I have the skill to adequately evaluate them. What I react to first is the impact created with the diffused light and the rising fog which gives me a sense of mystique for the scene. I think you've done a great job with the composition and the placement of the elements, specifically the reeds in the lower right corner and the reflection they create on the water. The tree line helps to create a good separation between the water in the foreground and the sky in the background. I like that you have lots of negative space AND it is used, for me, to excellent advantage in emphasize the key elements.

And finally, I think all the positive comments submitted by the others are right on and well deserved.   Posted: 06/18/2020 13:21:39
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Many thanks, Ed. I really appreciate it.   Posted: 06/26/2020 04:33:33

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
Amazing picture it makes me mellow which is cool. Like Jean said competition worthy.   Posted: 06/27/2020 18:38:31